Friday, January 21, 2011

Reflections on Hueco Tanks

Being back at work is no where near as good as being on a trip for a few weeks and living the climbing dream with you're only worry which boulder to try next?

Ah well back to reality, but it was a great trip. Hueco is amazing! I really enjoyed the climbing there. There are classics of every style and grade and I would definitely recommend the trip to see it. I guess it's kind of a right of passage if you're a keen boulderer you're gonna end up at
Hueco some day.

Is it the best bouldering in the world? In my opinion, probably not but it definitely is amazing in it's own right. I think the restrictions led to a bit of mysteria about the place and it actually made me reflect a bit on how we can take things for granted and I felt quite privileged to be able to climb there. I didn't find the tour system too bad at all, I think if you can understand why it's necessary and be a little bit flexible about what you want to climb it doesn't really detract from the experience at all. In fact it kind of added to it in a way for me. I really enjoyed climbing with all types of different people from all over the world that I may have not got to meet otherwise. Working problems together, sharing beta and stories, really great stuff.

One thing I took away with me is how strong the scene is in Hueco and probably the U.S. in general. It was really cool to see how enthusiastic every one was all the time. It would be awesome to see more big groups of people rolling round with crash pads pushing each other up things here too! We can definitely learn a thing or two from their climbing culture. We truly have some unique world class boulder problems, especially in the Grampians but also Sydney and even the chossy old Central Coast has some gems hidden in there that would satisfy the most fussy bloc connoisseur. Get out there and enjoy them!

So enough waffle, Hueco is sick enough said. I would have liked to pull a bit harder over there but I was pretty happy how I climbed. I think the training really paid off. One of the biggest things I wanted to achieve was a bit more consistency in my climbing, just to climb things quickly at a high level (for me any how). Problems generally take me a while to warm into and complete and I rarely send that fast but I didn't really go back to anything a second day in Hueco. Which kind of makes me think I probably could have projected something harder but how many classics would I have missed out on doing?? In the end I was enjoying being somewhere where I had so many great new problems to climb that I didn't really care and I think I learnt more as a climber than just Trying a couple of hard things for sure. I do think the standard there is a step up from Australia in regards to the grades though, especially in the moderates, it seems to fall back in line at the higher end.

Notable things I did in my three weeks there;

Purple flowers v9 (soft v10s)
10-10 V9

Big Nosed Millie V9
Paleozic V9
Pumped Full of Semen V9
Beer Can Traverse V9

Adjust your attitude v8
McBain v8
Ultra Mega v8
Stinking Jesus v8
Brand New Religion v8

Crash test Dummy v7
Sign of the Chalk v7
Daily Dick Dose v7
Best of the West v7
Belly of the beast v7
New Religion v7
Speed bump v7

(sign of the beast 666)
all in a day

Alf in a Blender v6
Uncut Yogi v6
Hypro glow v6

Funnily enough most of my favourite climbs were many of the other easier problems things like Asylum crack v3 and 100 proof roof v3 which are quite humbling to say the least.

I wanted to give a quick thanks to the guys at the ranch for making our trip really great. These guys have got it sorted out and if your travelling from a far I would recommend staying at the house cause it just makes getting into the park so much easier. Thanks heaps for everything Mary, Rocco, Nikias, Corbett, Dave, Neil and all the guides you guys are doing a great job!

So great to see all the Aussies crushing hard over there too! James, Chirs, and Vinnie were all on fire. For such a small climbing community in this country we do pretty well, get behind these guys they're doing great things.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Wood is Good

Finally built a decent woody at my place and we've added loads of little wooden jibs in an attempt to get use to pulling on smaller more incut holds with small feet. I still haven't put the bad ones on yet but hopefully we'll graduate to them soon.

It's a nice 35 degree angle so you can pull steep hard moves but still use quite small holds that you can't afford to let your feet cut off on.

Let the jibbing begin

Friday, November 19, 2010

Coming Up For Air

So we're still alive and kicking!

I've been training away quite hard the past two months with my friend Chris Ritchie in preparation for our trip to Hueco Tanks which is coming very fast. Three weeks from now we'll be on our way over wahoo!

This year has been a bit up and down for me and i've been finding it tough sticking to my training and not really having my usual motivation. But we've really stuck to the plan the past couple of months and we are both feeling stonger with every session. I've been blown away how far Chris has come along during the training, he managed to do his first v8, 'phone sex' and has just got stonger and stronger since. I'm excited to see how far i can push it too, i feel in the best shape i've been in for a long time. I guess time will tell? but it's great to be back on the blocs again after a whole month of hang boarding and weights which nearly drove us mad ha ha.

The basic training plan was:

5 weeks of conditioning
Building up from easy problems to harder as the weeks progress with high volume

4 weeks strength training
Of hang boarding and weights with very minimal climbing

4 weeks power
Extremely hard bouldering and campus

1 week taper off/ rest.

Only 3 weeks to go of power, will it all come together in time???
At least i can crimp hard now!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Getting Happy

So I've been sneaking back out over the past month or so to my little training ground at the Happy Place and managed to clean up a few old link up projects. Most of these are all link ups but are great pwr/end problems. I haven't updated the guide yet but i'll try to do that very soon. These are the problems in question

Dirty drowning man V7
Attack of the clones V8
Killer Loop V9
Magic Beans V9
Long Udon V10

I think my happy place projecting is done for a little while but I spied a few new lines so i'll be back.

I took a few mates out there from Sydney last weekend and they all thought it great. it was good to see people thrasing it out on the problems. Neil Wallace made a really fast ascent of The golden pinch v7 and Chris 'ipoppie' Ritchie almost managed a flash of the classic happy pyramid v4 sending 2nd shot.

We warmed up on the upper ridge with the boys repeating many of the moderates up there. Neil managed the FA of a classic line i'd been looking at on the gentle overhang wall next to the classic five spice v4. We worked the problem out with funky moves that lead to a spicy top out over a tree thats in the fall zone. 'seven swallows v6' is my new favourate problem

Monday, June 28, 2010

Trips, comps and coast rock

I've been a bit slack with updates of late but I haven't been getting out much around the coast but hopefully I'll be back at it over the next few months and clean up a few old projects I've got in mind.

I've been training loads at Ecat lately but not much outside aside for a few sneaky Gramps trips which are always excellent :) Climbed in the bouldering series on Saturday night at Ecat which was awesome! so many good problems and a really strong Field of some of Australia's top climbers. The boys did a great job setting some really interesting problems and out did themselves yet again. James Kassay took it out on the day, with Tom Farrell and Ben Cossey tied 2nd and Lee Cossey third.

Firing back up for some Coast action again soon too, so hopefully I'll get out and finish up some old projects in the coming months. I finished up one project at the Happy Place the other night which climbs out the low rail as for 'Viking Invader v9' but then climbs up the little bulging prow to finish up 'Another clone v6'. I was lucky to get this in the end as I couldn't do any of the moves on either of the problems initially, so they felt quite solid. After I re-worked all moves out I had a couple of shots form the start and got lucky sending 'Attack of the Clones' it felt like around v8. Now I just have to link it back into the underclinging traverse of 'Damage inc v8' and the full loop will be done.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Back in the Gramps

So we're back down the Gramps after wetting our appetites with a great trip down in Easter. Despite the hot conditions the Easter trip was great with a lot of sending especially Philby Neville who managed to dispatch all his projects in one weekend of sending fury including 'Monkey Bars v8', 'Happy Camper Trav v9' 'Shanghai v8'as well as 'haribo boulder v9' just for good measure. Awesome effort mate!

Conditions this time have been perfect and with loads of people down it's sure to be a great trip. It's just a shame we have to go home. I even made it up to the Gallery to belay Jason Piper on 'Monkey puzzle' He fell just before the anchors! but the gear is still on so he will do it next time I'm sure. Stellar effort though, Go coast power!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coast Action

Been a bit slack with the updates but after a little break from the rock I've been getting out and about and cleaning up a few new problems too. Photo me on 'Mercy Killing'

I revisited a little crag I call slip stream just up the road from me a Phegans Bay which is an old Anthoney Alexander area. I cleaned up some of the lines and did a few nice easy problems up there as well as a nice v5 I called 'Mercy Killing' which is a bit of an eliminate but fun climbing none the less. Still plenty to do there and a few hard lines there too.

Pat Reynolds did a flying visit a few weeks back now and we hit up the brown room where he managed all the standard classics as well as a quick second ascent of 'Red October v7' he also came super close to doing 'Brutal v9' which needs a second ascent so hopefully he'll be back soon to crush it! We also ducked into the pearl jam cave to try 'dissident v8' which is still unrepeated. We both got smacked around on it and I struggled to repeat the moves again, maybe it's a little harder? definitely a steely number and one of the coast's harder 8's for sure.

The development continues around the Dark Forrest. I've been working through some really nice lines along the upper ridge and added a handful of nice easy new problems. Most of the stuff in this section are low in the grade range but some really nice climbing even the -v0 are great and interesting. Some stand outs were;

'Mexican Mavis v3' which has a funky mantle on an iron stone ledge.

'Fresh Squeezed v6' is a nice eliminate of 'the ark' which is a steep arete, the harder variation climbs the arete proper not using any face holds.

'Riddles abound tonight 'v4 is another great problem which climbs out a little cave to a weird slopey top out.

'Five spice v4/5' is probably my favourite new problem and climbs a gently overhanging face on perfect edges to a big move to the high slopey lip and a rounded top out classic!

Me and fellow coast climber Al headed to the Happy place again too and added two nice additions 'Yummy Noodle v6' which pinches up the tufa feature on the main wall from a sit start and a really nice problem I named 'front end loader v5' which climbs out a steep detached block below the main cliff.

The scrubbing continues.....